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Half-Measures Are Inadequate in Emergency; YouTube & My Space Should Be Mandatory

The University of Hawaii tested its new mass telephoning system yesterday, and administrators are assessing how this and other channels can alert the mass campus audience in an emergency.

Some say text messaging would be the best way to reach students in an emergency – evidence of an ardent love affair with technology that seems as hot as ever.

If technology is the answer, why stop with text messaging? Why not use every conceivable high-tech medium to reach the young adult audience?

Let’s make YouTube and My Space mandatory. Everyone should be required to check for updates on YouTube and My Space at least once every 30 minutes just in case there’s an emergency. Website traffic can be monitored, and violators of this public-spirited policy can expect to be fired or expelled.

Not such a good idea? Here’s another one: Use radio.

Why is radio missing from the discussion? Are UH administrators not mentioning this virtually ubiquitous channel to reporters? Are officials talking about radio but reporters aren’t listening?

CHORE made this point a couple weeks ago. Neither the Advertiser story then nor today’s story mentioned KTUH, the on-campus station that presumably should be a key communications link during a campus emergency.

Old, Old, Old School

Radio enthralled the great-grandparents of students in school today. It’s not just old school; it’s old, old, old school – so old that maybe even administrators don’t give it a second thought.

But if a multi-channel approach is the objective, they simply can’t ignore their own on-campus radio station. Old-school radio is still around because it still works for enough people. Computers and cell phone technology are great; we wouldn’t want to be without them. But we especially wouldn’t want to be without radio in an emergency.

That’s a lesson the new school has let to learn, but it shouldn't have to wait. The high-tech solutions being evaulated presumably will take months or longer to implement. I just checked, and KTUH is up and operating right now at 90.3 FM.

If UH administrators intend to interrupt programming in an emergency, the UH community needs to know that now!

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